The latest from the McCourt divorce:
Jamie McCourt considered whether to parlay her high-profile position
with the Dodgers into the pursuit of political offices, including
president of the United States, according to documents filed by her
estranged husband in the couple’s divorce proceedings . . . In a December 2008 e-mail, Dodgers executive Charles Steinberg
presented her with “Project Jamie,” a seven-page action plan that
included this line: “Goal: Be Elected President of the United States.”
The dynamic in which the arrogant, idle rich treat political office as one of many jewels in the social crown and expect that it can be obtained by virtue of celebrity and networking alone is an old one, so there’s no sense in attacking it with gusto here. What I’m struck by is the fact that Ms. McCourt apparently had highly paid executives on the Dodgers payroll whose job, apparently, was to direct such vanity projects.
I know this divorce stinks for Dodgers fans, but look on the bright side: without it we wouldn’t be getting such an educational glimpse into the waste and extravagance afoot in the owners’ box of a major league baseball team. While we may need to hold our noses while observing it, perhaps the McCourts’ example will prove useful the next time one of these plutocrats pleads poverty and tries to shake down city hall for something.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.